"Mental Health Services - South West London and St Georges Trust"

About: South West London And St George's Mental Health NHS Trust / Assertive outreach Sutton and Merton PCT / Emergency GP out of hours service

(as the patient),

I am 17 and was first admitted to a unit, Aquarius, at my local psychiatric hospital, Springfield Hospital, a year ago.

I am now banned from this unit, mainly due to behaviours which I was displaying whilst in crisis on the unit. This means that when I need to be readmitted the process is a lot more complicated and distressing as I normally need to be placed on an adult unit at Springfield Hospital for a few days, whilst the team responsible for my care arrange an adolescent bed at another hospital.

Since the ban, from the adolescent unit at my local psychiatric hospital, I have needed to be admitted twice. On one occasion it was to a hospital 45 miles away from my home and on the second occasion it was to a hospital 30 miles away from my home. My local hospital is less than 5 miles away from my home.

I have made a formal complaint about the ban but feel that nothing is being done about it. It will soon be my 18th birthday so after this date I will be unable to be admitted to an adolescent unit anyway, but feel that if the ban was discussed properly at the time then it would not have needed to have been put in place and could have prevented a lot of distress and concern which was caused to me.

Also, there is no out-of-hours assistance for under 18s within South West London and St Georges Trust. There is a 'crisis line' which over 18s can utilise but the only option for an under 18, if they go into crisis out-of-hours, is a&e, which can cause further distress to the person who is in crisis.

I feel that a lot needs to be done regarding decisions which are made and facilities which are available within this trust. I would hate for someone else to have to go through the problems which I have accessing treatment for a mental health problem, especially at the time of a crisis.

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Response from Sue Denby, Head of Quality Governance, Quality Governance, South West London and St Georges

picture of Sue Denby

Thank you very much for your feedback and I am sorry for the lengthy delay in responding to your posting. We now have a new Patient Experience Team developing feedback mechanisms and we will be responding to all reviews in a timely manner as we want to act positively to make improvements to our services. Thankyou for taking the time to tell us about your distressing situation. We responded to your formal complaint about these matters at the time and I trust that this reduced your worries and anxieties during stressful times when you may have required admission to hospital. As time has moved on it would be great to hear how you are progressing and for any further feedback you may have.

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